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Insider

Sooner Intel: Recruiting news and notes

6/21/2012

Every Thursday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

• Where do the Sooners stand with a Florida athlete?

• OU's new receiver commit got some advice on his decision.

• What's next for OU's newest defensive tackle offer?

• One Sooners commit suffered a setback, but he's not breaking his commitment.

• An update on the state's top basketball recruit for 2013.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.

Sooners in play for Baker

It was right around this time last month when things started to get crazy for Hallandale (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna four-star athlete Adrian Baker.

It looked like Baker, who is ranked No. 189 in the ESPN 300, was going to commit to Florida State. But Oklahoma, Clemson and Auburn all came at Baker with offers, forcing him to reevaluate things.

Following his time at FSU’s camp last week, there is more reevaluation being done by the four-star prospect.

“I don’t think Florida State is my clear favorite anymore,” Baker said. “Being around them during the camp, I’m just not sure it’s the right fit.

“I still like them, and they’re still in my top five, but I’m more open now.”

Baker released his top five on Twitter last week which included the Seminoles, OU, Clemson, Ohio State and Vanderbilt.

He said he intends to take full advantage of all five of his official visits. OU is definitely in the mix as he has already said he is going to take his official to OU for the Notre Dame game.

“I’ve always watched OU growing up. I’m not a running back, but I loved watching Adrian Peterson play,” Baker said. “Coach Mike Stoops is a straight forward guy. We’ve been joking a lot about the Heat-Thunder series. I’m a big Heat fan.”

OU also has another ace up its sleeve with Baker with his cousin being former OU offensive line star Davin Joseph.

“I actually talked to him Sunday, and he was excited about me getting the offer,” Baker said. “He didn’t want to say too much because he wants me to make my own decision, but he said he loved his time at OU.”

Baker is looking to take it easy for the rest of the summer but is hoping to visit Ohio State before the season starts.

Father knows best for Bennett

OU picked up its physical, sure-handed receiver commit two weeks ago with three-star prospect Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks).

The Sooners are hoping they found that explosive receiver in three-star athlete Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel).

Bennett and OU haven’t been in talks for long but that didn’t matter as Bennett committed to OU on Wednesday.

One of the biggest reasons he knew the Sooners were the right match for him? His father.

“My father and really my whole family has always given me a tremendous amount of support,” Bennett said. “When it came to OU, I talked with my dad. He gave me his approval and said I was making the right decision. That’s all I needed.”

Family often plays a big role for recruits during the process, but it was taken to another level with Bennett.

He originally committed to Arkansas. But after former coach Bobby Petrino was fired, Bennett was not sure of what he should do. He looked to his father in that situation.

“I don’t have to question his motives. I know he wants the best for me and will do anything he can to help me get to where I need to be,” Bennett said. “It was a tough decision, but I know everything has turned out OK. I’m excited to be a Sooner.”

Walker high on OU

Defensive tackle Hardreck Walker (Houston/Westfield) hasn’t been afraid to let people know OU was one of the schools he was hoping to receive an offer from.

His long wait came to an end on Monday night.

“I’m just so blessed. I mean I don’t even know what to say right now," Walker said. "A couple of months ago I was just hoping to play Division I but now I can play for some of my favorite schools."